April 2006 Archives

Hooked on Thai

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One of my friends from work turned me on to Thai food. I never thought I'd like it, but wow, was I wrong. Great stuff. Then another friend told us about this great little Thai place in Springdale, and we've been hooked ever since.

The place isn't much to look at, but they cook some mean food. And the best part is they don't use MSG and they don't use any saturated fats - the food is really light and tasty. The service is great as well - it's obviously a family-run business, and they go out of their way to really take care of you. If you're in the mood for some great Thai food, check out Pattaya - it's just off Sunset, near the corner of 71B.

Amy and I ate there tonight - I had Veggie Pad Thai with tofu, and she had chicken Pad Thai. Here's a picture of my dish (from the cell phone):

patayya.jpg

Haven't left the office...

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- The home office, that is - for about 30 hours. I've been working on editing our cruise photos in to a DVD... With something like 12 gigs worth of photos to sort through, organize, edit, piece together, score, mix, and compile, it's been a big job.

I'm about half-way done. If I had Final Cut Pro, my life would be much easier, but instead I'm using Apple's bundled iLife stuff, and while it's ok, it sure is painful compared to a pro application. If anyone wants to get me an early present, they can buy me Final Cut Pro - it's only $699 or so... :-)

Here's some shots of what my "work" looks like:

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Thank god for dual displays - I can fit everything I need on both screens - it's a lifesaver. You'll see there's: Garageband (for mixing and scoring the film), iPhoto (for organizing), Photoshop (for editing), iTunes (for selecting music/sampling), and iDVD (for compiling/burning tracks). I've also been using M-Audio stuff for creating my own audio, but I didn't have it open in this photo.

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A better shot of the right-side monitor.

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Working in Garageband to put music/sound-effects/commentary to the film. I think this is Chapter 5. There will be 9 chapters when it's all done. While it's somewhat difficult to see from the photo, I've got six audio tracks going, plus the video track - trying to get it all synchronized, and the levels/fades mixed properly. It's fun, but like I said, Final Cut Pro would be soooo much better/easier to work with. I think I'm pushing the limits of what iLife can do (but heck, it was only $79)... that, or I'm really dumb, and I'm not using iLife properly.

I'm off to bed, provided that my legs still work - I've been sitting in this chair all day...

We received a daily newsletter while onboard the ship... on the last day, our newsletter contained these interesting facts:

Q: What is the Century's fuel consumption?
A: At the service speed of 21 knots, consumption is 180 tons of fuel per day and equates to 94.3 gallons per mile.

Q: What is the range when all fuel tanks are full?
A: 14 days of continuous, full power sailing.

Q: What is the diameter of the propellers?
A: Each of the 4-blade propellers are of controllable pitch and are 18.4 feet in diameter and weigh 16.4 tons. The propeller shafts are 61.5 feet long and 23 inches in diameter.

Q: How big is each engine?
A: Each engine is about the size of a big truck. Each cylinder is 18" in diameter with a 23" stroke, operating on the 4-stroke cycle. Each engine turns at 450 rpm. (For comparison, a normal-sized engine (like in a Chevy V8) has a bore and stroke of about 4" by 4").

How much food did you consume?
The Century consumes:

15,400 pounds of beef
2,500 pounds of lamb
3,100 pounds of pork
2,050 pounds of veal
1,900 pounds of sausage
3,000 pounds of chicken
2,200 pounds of turkey
5,400 pounds of fish
900 pounds of lobster
18,000 pounds of fresh vegetables
8,400 pounds of potatoes
20,000 pounds of fresh fruit
3,000 gallons of milk
320 quarts of cream
240 gallons of ice cream
4,000 dozen (or 48,000) eggs
8,000 pasteurized frozen eggs
3,500 pounds of sugar
2,600 pounds of rice
1,200 pounds of cereal
400 pounds of jelly
1,000 pounds of coffee
7,000 pounds of flour
40 pounds of herbs and spices
2,950 bottles of assorted wines
7,800 cans/bottles of beer
(and so on, and so on)

That's for a 7-day cruise with 1700 guests...

We're baaaaack!

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Just got back from the cruise. Wow - what a great time. All of my fears and concerns about the costs, the hassles, the pain -- all were for not. We truly had a great time - the ship was wonderful, the food was great, the service top-notch, and the islands were really something to behold.

Here are a few quick pictures - I just grabbed a few at random; I'll work on getting more (better) pictures up after a day or so.


Here's the pool/deck area - we spent a lot of time here:
pooldeck.jpg


The view from my parents cabin deck:
back.jpg


Our usual pre-dinner snack (ate by the pool, at around 4:30pm or so):
xpizza.jpg


Our usual pre-dinner desert (from the "regular" buffet):
deserts.jpg


Our awesome dinner waiter, Slobodan (from Croatia):
slobodan.jpg


The midnight fruit buffet (on Friday night):
midnight.jpg


Last night's (Saturday, April 15) sunset:
sunset.jpg


Where I hope to retire to (Grand Cayman):
grandcayman.jpg


Swimming with the dolphins (this was a blast):
dolphins.jpg


Mayan ruins (we climbed this):
ruins.jpg

Like I said, I'll get more photos posted asap -- we took about 700 pictures on Amy's camera; my parents took about 160, and my sister-in-law took about 150-160. So... we'll spend some time sorting through the photos and will get more of them posted just as soon as possible.

The dogs were happy to see us - as were the cats. It's good to be home, but I can't help but wish I was back on Grand Cayman at Rum Point -- that place was amazing.

Bon voyage...

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So we leave for the cruise tomorrow. Western Caribbean. Yay.

See you in about a week or so.

Thanks to all!

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Thanks to everyone for the wonderful birthday cards and gifts. It was much appreciated, and not necessary.

We didn't do much this weekend - sat around mostly... yesterday I did absolutely nothing. Well, that's not entirely true - I rearranged some cables on the computer (I got longer DVI and USB cables on Friday), so now the computer is where I want it to be. I also installed a dimmer switch on our living room lights.

Today, we went to Joplin for some Pizza By Stout (yum!), and we went to a sporting goods store for some aqua socks, and then over to Best Buy. I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse (oh, so nice) and a 60GB iPod video. This thing is totally cool. We're going to take it on our cruise next week - should be nice. You can watch videos (podcasts) on it, so we'll be entertained without having to bring along the laptop.

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(Next to a pen for reference)

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Sample of the video quality.

The new computer is phenomenal. Try as I might, I simply can't bog it down... :-)

Thanks again to everyone for all of the bday wishes. Thanks!